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Abstract

Many programs of the SAFETEA-LU have pointed to improving transit services and individuals’ accessibility in small urban areas. Urban economic theory suggests that improving accessibility by investing in transportation has the potential to drive up bids for land. However, will the improved transit accessibility in small urban areas increase property values? A number of studies have investigated the impact of rail transit on home sales but produced mixed results. Further, few studies have explored how transit influences the lease rate of apartments. This question is more relevant because transit accessibility tends to have a greater impact on apartment dwellers than home owners. Using about 400 apartment dwellers in Fargo, North Dakota, this study developed a hedonic price model to determine implicit price of proximity to bus routes. We found a negative impact of bus transit on apartment rent after controlling for other factors, however. We speculated that in a small urban area, this negative relationship could be mainly attributable to spurious relationships from other causal factors, as well as nuisance effects of bus transit itself.

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